Limelight

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
3.5/5 Nomadland (2020) Lynden Barber Fern hits the road in her mobile home initially to pick up work in a gargantuan Amazon warehouse, a symbol of 21st-century postmodernity as dehumanising as any 19th-century cotton mill or factory. EDIT
Posted Feb 25, 2021
A Sun (2019) Lynden Barber Not only is the film visually outstanding, but it takes us on a most unpredictable narrative journey where characters who seem initially unsympathetic finally come to be people we genuinely care for. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
37 Seconds (2019) Lynden Barber Mei Kayama [gives] an authentic and genuinely touching performance. EDIT
Posted Jan 8, 2021
4.5/5 The Father (2020) Lynden Barber How could this new UK production, directed and co-written by Frenchman Florian Zeller from his own play, possibly emulate [Sarah Polley's 2006 drama, Away from Her] or find anything new to say? Here is how. By switching the point of view. EDIT
Posted Nov 25, 2020
3/5 Misbehaviour (2020) Lynden Barber ...while the film is energetic, often amusing and accurate about the era's often alarming prejudices, it also gets entangled in didacticism and self-consciousness... EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
4/5 Corpus Christi (2019) Lynden Barber This serious Polish drama, loosely inspired by a real-life story... is gripping from the start. EDIT
Posted Oct 22, 2020
3/5 The Translators (2019) Lynden Barber Roinsard has found not only different paths but also several hidden routes through the tall grass that criss-cross then swiftly double back then turn inside out before viewers have even realised they've been led to the centre of a maze. EDIT
Posted Sep 24, 2020
4.5/5 La belle époque (2019) Lynden Barber Reality and fantasy blur in this joyous return to the 1970s. EDIT
Posted Aug 27, 2020
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) Lynden Barber ...deliciously deadpan... EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
Feel the Beat (2020) Lynden Barber I laughed at the comedy, warmed to newcomer Sofia Carson in the lead role, and loved the dance sequences. The sentimental ending? Not so much, but then I'm not in the target audience... EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
13TH (2016) Lynden Barber While enormously stimulating and often angering, the film is not without its flaws. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (2020) Lynden Barber It's a relatively long film at 154 minutes, but Lee and his screenwriters keep the pressure up so the time passes surprisingly fast. EDIT
Posted Jun 25, 2020
My Life as a Zucchini (2016) Lynden Barber ....an utterly charming French claymation... EDIT
Posted May 22, 2020
Hearts and Bones (2019) Lynden Barber The film, directed by Ben Lawrence, takes a little too much time laying down its narrative breadcrumbs but when they finally all come together the result is an unexpectedly powerful climax. EDIT
Posted May 18, 2020
3.5/5 Military Wives (2019) Lynden Barber Despite the formula guiding the narrative, it's hard not to divine a sense of duty to the real-life characters, which gives the women and their dilemmas a vivid presence on screen. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
Little Women (2019) Lynden Barber Gerwig's innovation is to reflexively fold the story of Alcott's own struggle to publish into the character of Jo March. She's helped enormously by Saoirse Ronan's spunky performance as Jo. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2020
4.5/5 Sorry to Bother You (2018) Lynden Barber It's not an easy watch, but it is memorable and compelling -- the rare film that comments on the peculiar details of a historical moment while we are still going through it and makes all too clear sense of it. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2019
4.5/5 Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Lynden Barber It's a quiet, meditative film that is indeed beautiful to, yes, gaze upon while you ponder its subtle yet powerful accumulation of thoughts and questions. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2019
2.5/5 The Report (2019) Lynden Barber An inquiry into post 9/11 torture suffers from a tortuous start... EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
Martha: A Picture Story (2019) Lynden Barber What makes Martha work so well is that it paints a multi-layered and intimate portrait of an inspiring and unique veteran woman artist who has spent her career taking risks and winning respect in a work scene dominated by males. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
4/5 Knives Out (2019) Lynden Barber Johnson's plotting is cleverly twisty and unpredictable and the dialogue witty. Even those without fond memories of the Cluedo board game or Anthony Shaffer's classic two-hander, Sleuth, should find Knives Out a rewarding amusement. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
4/5 Judy (2019) Lynden Barber !t's the actor's command of Garland's flickeringly complex emotions -- shame, fear and frustration mixed with enormous pride and self-possession -- that make this more than a good impersonation but a fascinating and hugely empathetic performance. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
3.5/5 Vita & Virginia (2018) Lynden Barber For many the film will ultimately succeed or fall on Elizabeth Debicki's depiction of Woolf as a wanly frail creature, forever on the verge of falling apart. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
3/5 Ride Like a Girl (2019) Lynden Barber Teresa Palmer is terrific as the determined jockey initially mentored by her trainer father. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
5/5 Dogman (2018) Lynden Barber With his hugely expressive eyes, Fonte (an amateur actor in a community centre drama that Garrone met by chance) is a major reason Dogman works so devastatingly well. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
3.5/5 The Nightingale (2018) Lynden Barber The Nightingale is a realistic historical drama, though its darkness and intensity show Kent's horror leanings are never really absent, merely given a different context. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
3/5 Ophelia (2018) Lynden Barber Many Hamlet-lovers will scoff, while for those unfamiliar with the tale, it will make little sense. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2019
4/5 An Unexpected Love (2018) Lynden Barber A fascinatingly talky, intelligent drama with comic moments. Apart from being beautifully mounted visually, it's also flawlessly acted. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
4/5 2040 (2019) Lynden Barber None of the ideas explored here are purely theoretical or pie in the sky. Whether technological or systems-based solutions, they all exist now and could be massively expanded to huge global benefit. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
3.5/5 Peterloo (2018) Lynden Barber Peterloo is an impressive and absorbing achievement that brings an important yet surprisingly forgotten event back into the mainstream consciousness. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
2.5/5 Sometimes Always Never (2018) Lynden Barber The story, partly built around a road trip, is unpredictable, but new director Hunter is a bit too keen to dial up the quirk factor. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 Cold War (2018) Lynden Barber If all of Hollywood is a form of melodrama, here is its opposite - understated drama that pulls between poignancy and, via its music, a more full-blooded life spirit. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/5 The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Lynden Barber Matching Redford for charm is Sissy Spacek as his love interest, the horse ranch-owning widow he 'helps' by the side of the road while trying to elude the cops on his tail. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2018
4/5 Ladies in Black (2018) Lynden Barber From the eye-popping colours of the period's fabulous floral dresses to the snapped suspenders and silk petticoats beneath, this is a film above all for women who love fashion. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
3.5/5 Whitney (2018) Lynden Barber Fascinating, well-made and moving - albeit not as unique and necessary as it probably wants us to find it. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2018
3.5/5 Ideal Home (2018) Lynden Barber [Writer-director Andrew Fleming] approaches his material from the inside, and this contributes greatly to the success of the project. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
3/5 Last Flag Flying (2017) Lynden Barber Linklater's visual sense has largely deserted him here... or maybe it's just the damp weather blanketing most scenes. But the lead performances are exemplary and the emotional landscape they traverse is far from grey. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2018
4.5/5 The Party (2017) Lynden Barber Potter handles the competing sub-plots like an experienced emergency surgeon in a disaster zone, exploring themes including rationality versus irrationality and the sickness lurking within apparently healthy relationships. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2018
5/5 The Death of Stalin (2017) Lynden Barber The film manages to be both scabrously funny and bone chilling as it nails Stalinism's absurdity and inhumanity. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2018
4.5/5 The Square (2017) Lynden Barber The Square is littered with dramatic confrontations and struggles that make it engaging and accessible to a wider audience without undermining its thoughtfulness or ability to take outlandish risks and pull them off. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2018
4/5 A Fantastic Woman (2017) Lynden Barber This fantastic Chilean woman very much lives up to the film's title. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2018
4/5 Sweet Country (2017) Lynden Barber .. this new Australian western plays as darkly and seriously as Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, except that this time the forces of violence and retribution are rooted in the soils of colonial racism. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2018
3/5 Just to Be Sure (2017) Lynden Barber This admirably adult romantic comedy from French female director and co-writer Carine Tardieu raises a few smiles without ever being exactly hilarious. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2018
3.5/5 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Lynden Barber While the film certainly has its fair spray of black comedy, not all of it that amusing, it turns out, to its benefit, to be far more morally layered, unpredictable and thoughtful than its marketing campaign suggests. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2018
Never Let Me Go (2010) Lynden Barber Only when the girls team up does the film start to fulfill its promise. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Mad Bastards (2011) Lynden Barber There's no denying the film has real heart, buoyed by surprisingly strong performances from a mostly inexperienced cast who drew on their own lives in creating their characters. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Sleeping Beauty (2010) Lynden Barber Understatedly strange, erotic, quietly surrealistic and slightly disturbing, it's a striking film that immediately marks out its Australian writer-director as a confident new cinematic voice. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Pina (2011) Lynden Barber Instead of being handed facts that could be more readily imparted by a literary biography, we are immersed in [subject Bausch's] startling dance work ... and invited to examine her philosophy and work methods. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Jane Eyre (2011) Lynden Barber As the self-possessed governess Jane, Mia Wasikowska is perfection - relatively plain, the right age (early 20s) and charismatic, while Michael Fassbender's Mr Rochester is all glowering vigour. Pure pleasure. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
The Illusionist (2010) Lynden Barber The film is best thought of as a fond homage to Tati from a sympathetic admirer rather than a literal attempt at realising his intentions ... In this it succeeds exquisitely. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018